Designed by
Lowe, Ann, American, 1898 - 1981
Worn by
Cammann, Nora Francke, American, 1932 - 2014
Subject of
Black Fashion Museum, American, 1979 - 2007
1950; altered 1951
tulle, lace, acetate, plastic buckram, elastic, and metal fasteners
H x W (a flat): 50 × 65 in. (127 × 165.1 cm)
H x W (b flat): 32 × 123 in. (81.3 × 312.4 cm)
Strapless blue tulle and lace dress (a) with matching shawl (b) designed by Ann Lowe. The dress has a strapless fitted bodice with a sweetheart neckline. It is fitted to the natural waist, then has a floor-length full skirt. The bodice is covered in layers of pleated dark blue tulle with the top neckline trimmed in dark blue floral lace with metallic gold accents. The skirt is made from three (3) layers of the tulle over a dark blue acetate underskirt. On the outer layer the tulle and four (4) wide bands of the lace alternate down the skirt in horizontal bands. There is an additional top layer of the blue tulle that is short at the center front with rounded edges that extend down along the sides and create a full train in the back in line with the hemline of the skirt. The tulle of this top layer is embellished with scattered bits of the lace appliquéd onto the tulle throughout and the edges trimmed in bands of the lace. The dress closes at the center back with a zipper and two (2) hook-and-eyes.
The interior bodice is lined with the dark blue acetate. Boning is cased in blue or black fabric and attached around the bodice. There is a thin band of black elastic tacked across the interior bodice outlining the breast cups. A wider band of white elastic is tacked at the center front under the bust line that fastens at the center back with two (2) hook-and-eyes. An interior waistband made from black ribbon is sewn around the waist and attaches at the center back with two (2) hook-and-eyes. There are hanger loops made from the blue acetate sewn at each interior front side. The undersides of the hems of the top cascading layer of tulle, the tulle and lace banded layer, and the acetate under skirt are trimmed in black plastic buckram. A cream fabric label with red printed text reading "Ann Lowe" is sewn to the interior waist band at the proper left back side.
The shawl (b) is made from the same dark blue tulle with scattered bits of lace appliquéd onto the tulle throughout. The edges are finished with a machine picot stitch.
Place made
New York City, New York, United States, North and Central America
Collection title
Black Fashion Museum Collection
Clothing and dress
Fashion design
Social life and customs
Credit Line
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of the Black Fashion Museum founded by Lois K. Alexander-Lane
Object number
Restrictions & Rights
No Known Copyright Restrictions
Proper usage is the responsibility of the user.

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